For Ghaith Al Ghaith, 2012 will always be the year that flydubai became profitable. The airline – Dubai’s answer to Sharjah-based low-cost carrier Air Arabia – was only set up in 2009, but is already reaping the rewards of Al Ghaith’s stewardship and the experience and expertise lent by parent company Emirates Group. Al Ghaith has brought modern aircraft, and has also experimented with new ideas, such as charging passengers to use seat-back entertainment screens.
The no-frills airline said it carried 5.1 million passengers in 2012, out of a total of 10.4 million passengers transported since the carrier began operations.
Flydubai operates a fleet of 28 Boeing narrow-body 737-800, out of an order for 50 aircraft to be fully delivered by 2016. It flies to 52 destinations in 31 countries.